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Old 05-04-2014, 08:29 AM
 
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I have to ask: How come you didn't iron out how to approach this with your wife? Surely you both knew the day would come when your child would start asking questions, no?

If not, in that moment, I would have said, "Ya know, that's a very good question, and a lot of people have a lot of different answers for it. Some people believe in God. Some people don't. I don't, but your mom does."

That would have provided you with a great opportunity to teach him about how people who don't agree on things can still love each other and get along.
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Old 05-04-2014, 09:24 AM
 
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Originally Posted by WSPHXPELON View Post
Thanks to everyone that answered and gave input. FYI, I did order one of those book titles and will check it out... And I really think that everyone who replied had some good points. I told my son that God not being "real" is just my belief, and that he is free to believe whatever he chooses. Thanks again everyone.
You DO know that your five year old does NOT have the cognitive capacity or brain development to understand the issue you broached in a self-centered desire to promote YOUR view, right?
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Old 05-04-2014, 10:02 AM
 
Location: Rivendell
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Originally Posted by MysticPhD View Post
You DO know that your five year old does NOT have the cognitive capacity or brain development to understand the issue you broached in a self-centered desire to promote YOUR view, right?
You mean like religious people do with their children almost all of the time?
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Old 05-04-2014, 10:19 AM
 
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Originally Posted by MysticPhD View Post
You DO know that your five year old does NOT have the cognitive capacity or brain development to understand the issue you broached in a self-centered desire to promote YOUR view, right?
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sizzly Friddle View Post
You mean like religious people do with their children almost all of the time?
Yes, Sizzly . . . but the larger issue is educating parents about the limitations of child development on what can be taught and what can be expected of young children.

Last edited by MysticPhD; 05-04-2014 at 10:55 AM..
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Old 05-04-2014, 10:27 AM
 
Location: SC
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Originally Posted by dizzybint View Post
... now when I think of it its a form of abuse to enforce this nonsense on kids out of the home...
A form of abuse? I can see that. An abuse of trust. For sure when the child grows up and if he is able to think for himself and "discovers" there is no god, he will wonder why his parents lied to him.
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Old 05-04-2014, 10:28 AM
 
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Originally Posted by MysticPhD View Post
Yes, Sizzly . . . but the larger issue is educating parents about the limitations of child development on what can be taught and and what can be expected of young children.
When children ask questions, they are ready to learn about these things. You are underestimating the cognitive ability of young children, imo.

Yes, you talk to them on their level, but you tell the truth, just as you should when talking about where babies come from. Most 5 year olds are very much like scientists testing the world around them and what they can learn about it using their senses.
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Old 05-04-2014, 11:02 AM
 
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Originally Posted by nana053 View Post
When children ask questions, they are ready to learn about these things. You are underestimating the cognitive ability of young children, imo.
Yes, you talk to them on their level, but you tell the truth, just as you should when talking about where babies come from. Most 5 year olds are very much like scientists testing the world around them and what they can learn about it using their senses.
They are seeking very basic information . . . nothing remotely resembling what an adult mind would even contemplate.

Child: (pointing to Mom's belly) "The baby's in there?"
Mom: "Yep"
Child: "How'd that happen?"

Any suggestions, nana?
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Old 05-04-2014, 11:23 AM
 
2,775 posts, read 2,843,170 times
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Originally Posted by WSPHXPELON View Post
My son is 5 years old. Ever since he was born I have been asking myself how I am going to educate him in regard to religion...My wife's side of the family are fairly Catholic. My mother-in-law had my son baptized when he was a baby (I did not protest). Well, I had finally decided that what I would tell my son regarding "God" would be that I would just avoid the subject and/or "play it off" like I was a believer when the subject came up...

Well, today, for the first time ever, my son started asking me questions about God. I just couldn't make myself betray my son by feeding him lies. I told him the truth, that God, "is not real"; and I explained that some people believe very strongly that God does exist but that my personal belief which I feel to be true is that God does not exist.

Well, he was okay with it. He said, "Okay, God isn't real. Only Santa Claus is real and he is the one that takes care of us, right?" So, I had already broken the news to him about God (the big lie), so I broke the news to him about Santa Claus as well. I told him that Santa Claus is not real either and that the presents are from me and my wife. I told him that the only people that will "take care of us", are us; and that is why we must be good people and value and appreciate each other and our families. He seemed very understanding and none of it seemed to upset him the slightest.

Long story short, did I just mess up?? Should I have let the facade carried on for years??

What do you think? How have you handled raising children being an Atheist? Please just share some thoughts on this topic because it has really been bothering me....
You did well and had what you deemed an honest conversation with your son when he asked particular questions. No mess up. In my opinion, this world would be better off with less lies and more truths told to our children. I might follow-up someday and say something to the effect that there may be a God in one sense or another, but that you haven't seen any proof and a lot of people claim to have seen or heard proof but you don't believe them.
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Old 05-04-2014, 11:40 AM
 
16,097 posts, read 17,895,645 times
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Originally Posted by MysticPhD View Post
They are seeking very basic information . . . nothing remotely resembling what an adult mind would even contemplate.

Child: (pointing to Mom's belly) "The baby's in there?"
Mom: "Yep"
Child: "How'd that happen?"

Any suggestions, nana?
Yep. By the time they are 5, they should know the truth about the names of their body parts, so they should already know vagina, penis, uterus, etc. I never said that the baby was in my tummy.

First start with what do you think? and go from the information they give you. You want to deal with misconceptions they have first.

I am big on using books to help. This one is pretty good. It is broken up into chapters, so you can decide what to share when they are ready and ask questions.

http://www.amazon.com/review/R2GFVVY...R2GFVVY23372O5

Start with our bodies are amazing and they do all sorts of things. Mommies have eggs. Daddies have sperm. In order for a baby to form, the sperm and the egg have to meet. Once they meet, they join into a fertilized egg that starts to become a baby and it stays inside the mommy's uterus until it is ready to be born.

Then wait for the next questions. We should not be afraid to share scientific explanations with our kids even if *we* are uncomfortable with the topic. Hopefully, the next generation will not be afraid to be open with each other or with their own children. And yes, you can explain how the sperm and egg meet and where in the body they are *if* the child asks about it.

Note that you can start even simpler - the egg is inside mom to begin with and it starts to form a baby and stays in the uterus until it is ready to come out and be born without talking about how it becomes a baby at first. You just keep waiting for the questions and when the child has enough information, he stops asking.

You know, kids used to see animals mating on the farm and that could also lead to explanations.
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Old 05-04-2014, 03:37 PM
 
3,404 posts, read 2,250,630 times
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Originally Posted by MysticPhD View Post
You DO know that your five year old does NOT have the cognitive capacity or brain development to understand the issue you broached in a self-centered desire to promote YOUR view, right?
I'm curious, what do you think he should have said?

-NoCapo
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